"Exploring Arkansas From Above"

Show Video

When you make a donation to Arkansas PBS, you help make programs like exploring Arkansas from above possible. Your financial support helps Arkansas PBS provide quality programming for your family and for other Arkansans as well. Thank you for watching and supporting the programs you love. Visit my Arkansas pbs.org to learn more. (bright music) (water running) (bright music continues) - [Chuck] Arkansas, the Natural State does indeed have many natural wonders.

Beauty that can especially be appreciated from a bird's eye view. This is our exploration of a unique state, with an aerial, cinematic perspective, covering all four seasons. - [Narrator] In Arkansas, you've got the Delta, the mountains, rivers. From above, adds so much to it.

- [Narrator] Arkansas is a beautiful state. You have it all here. You have everything you could ever want to film, here in Arkansas. - [Chuck] Welcome to "Exploring Arkansas from Above." (birds chirping) (bright music) Spring, the season during which everything is born again.

In the Natural State, there are many aspects to springtime, from blooming flowers and blossoms, floating the scenic waterways, fly fishing for trout on world-class streams, and exploring all the magnificent waterfalls, flowing at their peak. (bright music continues) A euphoric springtime wonderland. Where is such a place? Well, just outside of Hot Springs National Park, there's a woodland magical garden, if you will. Click your heels and you too can stroll down a "land of Oz" pathway to springtime euphoria. The phenomenal display of the thousands of tulips and the variety does indeed live up to its name, "Tulip Extravaganza," and attracts thousands of visitors to Hot Springs every spring. One of the must do springtime pilgrimages in Arkansas is visiting Wye Mountain, Northwest of Little Rock, and experiencing the acres upon acres of daffodils.

These are the daffodil fields forever. For many families in Arkansas, making the springtime visit to Wye Mountain is a tradition that has continued from one generation to the next. And for many children, it's a storybook setting with fairy tale dreams that come alive. (gentle music) Another springtime story book setting is the Old Mill in North Little Rock.

This mill is shown in the opening credits of 'Gone with the Wind," and is the only structure that still remains from that movie. During spring, its the Dogwood blossoms here that attract hundreds of tourists from the Southern region. The mill was never actually a working gristmill, instead it was constructed as a work of art, to depict the charm and setting of the old South.

(water running) (upbeat music) Mountain biking is also a popular springtime activity before the hot weather of summer sets in. A favorite with mountain bikers in the Arkansas River Valley near Dardanelle is the Mount Nebo Monument Trail. (upbeat music continues) Mount Nebo state Park's 25 mile trail system includes two downhill only runs and multi-directional trails with various skill levels. - Oh man, it seems like it's constantly growing. I have a hard time keeping up with all the new trails. So it's just a smorgasbord.

It's like a kid at a candy shop. The views here are amazing. - Just great man. It's making me feel like a kid again. Making me feel alive. You get out there and have some fun.

This is awesome. The weather is perfect. The best place to ride all year long. (tires spinning) (gentle music) (birds chirping) - [Chuck] Pedestal Rock Scenic Area in the Ozark National Forest between Pelsor and Ben Hur, is a unique history lesson in Arkansas geology. This entire area was once underwater millions of years ago, and then as the water receded, the land raised and formed the Ozark Plateau. Then natural erosion and weathering over thousands of years formed these pedestal rocks or columns.

The area features two loop trails. The 2.2 mile long Pedestal Rocks Loop, which will take you to all the average five story tall rock columns, and the King's Bluff Loop, which is 1.7 miles and will lead you to Kings Bluff Falls.

(water rushing) Kings Bluff Falls is 114 feet tall, which makes it one of the tallest waterfalls in the Ozarks. (upbeat guitar music) Less than 30 miles from this area, also in the Ozark National Forest is what you might call a cousin of Pedestal Rocks. This huge monolith and somewhat of a pedestal, is known as the "Arkansas Sphinx." Flying through the "eye" with a first-person view drone is an extra added adventure we thought we'd add.

(water rushing) In the Natural State spring wouldn't be spring without a float trip. (gentle music) Two very popular float streams with the average floater are the Buffalo National River and the Mulberry. The Mulberry is challenging and known for rapids with names like "Whoop & Holler," which you will be doing if you don't quite make it. (gentle music continues) The Buffalo River, for the most part, offers a more tranquil floating adventure, not to mention breathtaking scenery, such as Roark Bluff at the Steel Creek put in near Ponca.

- The towering limestone bluffs along Roark Bluff, over the Buffalo river is incredible. And one of my first visits here was to Steel Creek and it was one of the aspects of the area that made me just absolutely fall in love with it. (water trickling) [Hiker] Definitely little pieces of heaven all around this area, for sure.

It's an incredible area. There's scenic opportunities everywhere. The beautiful limestone Bluffs behind me, the pristine water flowing along the side of us. It's just incredible. (airplane engine humming) - [Chuck] Another way to explore Arkansas from above, is with a sport called backcountry or backwoods flying. These bush planes with oversize tires, can go and land just about anywhere, even on river gravel bars.

- Short field takeoff and landing is becoming so popular that we're having to create training programs specifically for that type of flying, because it has a whole realm of intricacies associated with it. [Pilot] It affords all the challenge the sane person would probably desire. (gentle music) (airplane engine roaring) - [Chuck] Springtime in Arkansas also means waterfalls. There are literally hundreds of springtime and wet weather waterfalls throughout the Ozarks and Ouchita mountains. Cedar Falls at Petit Jean Mountain State Park near Morrilton is probably the most photographed waterfall in the state. (water rushing) (gentle music continues) With Petit Jean being Arkansas' flagship state park, roughly a half million waterfall enthusiasts visit Cedar Falls every year.

Bridal Veil Falls in Heber Springs is another popular waterfall destination, and it's just a short walk from the parking area to the overlook. You wouldn't think of Fairfield Bay as a waterfall hotspot, but it is. Just about a hundred feet off one of the roads are several waterfalls, all in one area. - Yeah, waterfalls I have been enamored with my entire life, long before I ever picked up a camera. And part of visiting waterfall is just the joy of seeing, cause it's usually unexpected. It's not only the surprise of seeing something so spectacular, but all your senses are firing.

And you've got motion going on with the waterfall and the sounds of it. And they actually produce negative ions, which actually give a calming, euphoric type effect. And so that's why people love to walk up to a waterfall and sit down because it's great.

It makes you feel good. We've got so many incredible waterfalls in Arkansas. Not very many of them have ever been named until recently. And a lot of people just don't realize how many we've got, but we have literally hundreds, if not thousands that are back in the wilderness and more difficult to get to. But it seems like the harder they are to get to, the more you love it when you get there.

- From mountain bikers to hiking photographers and backwoods pilots, Arkansas is full of those who seek out adventure. But for many others, the thrill is in the calm breath of fresh air an Arkansas morning has to offer. (gentle music) (water flowing) Early morning fog and fly fishing on the Little Red River near Heber Springs with Little Sugar Loaf in the background makes for a perfect tranquil outing, even if you aren't catching any fish. The opportunity for fishing trips in the misty morning fog is short-lived in Arkansas, as the days lengthen and humidity sets in, the tight grip of summer will soon take hold of the Natural State. Not only does an Arkansas summer mean water sports and campfires, but also new things and places to discover.

From shady valleys to sheer face bluffs, you never know what waits around the river's bend. (frogs croaking) While spring in Arkansas sees life rise up from the soil and through the river mist, summertime sees life slow down in the humid days and balmy nights. Summertime in the Natural State means bike rides through the Ozarks. It means campfires and spine-tingling tales of forgotten swamps, but more than anything for the people of Arkansas summertime means communion. Communion with each other and with all the beauty our home has to offer.

(bright music) For many, summertime in Arkansas, means enjoying all the lakes across the Natural State, including Arkansas' largest lake, Lake Ouchita, just west of Hot Springs. An excellent vantage point to enjoy Lake Ouchita's sprawling expanse, is from atop Hickory Nut Mountain, just south of the lake, at the Hickory Nut Mountain Vista and Recreation Area. The view from the mountain top is simply breathtaking, offering an impressive sight of Lake Ouchita's many islands. One of Arkansas' most popular landmarks is Sugar Loaf Mountain on Greers Ferry Lake. The trail that leads up to the top is actually a designated National Recreation Trail, one of only two National Recreation Trails that are located on an island. The Sugar Loaf Mountain National Recreation Trail is about a mile in length from base to summit and is rated moderate to strenuous.

More so strenuous, especially the last section with very steep steps going up to the summit. If you make it, the spectacular views from the top are well worth it. The trail of course is accessible only by boat, but if you don't have one, no worries.

The Fairfield Bay marina offers shuttle services. (bright guitar music) One of the popular summertime activities on Greers Ferry Lake is cliff jumping. You might say it's Arkansas' version of Acapulco style cliff diving. A word of caution though, before diving in, make sure the water is deep enough with no rocks hiding below the surface and always jump feet first. Lakes like Ouchita and Greers Ferry will be speckled with pontoon, fishing and speed boats for the duration of the summer.

For many, there is no time better spent than time spent on the water. (singers vocalizing) Floating the Kings River in Northwest Arkansas is always an adventure, but if you've never seen the Kings from an Eagle's vantage point, then you've been missing out on one of the more scenic overlooks in the state. The Kings River Overlook is located inside the Madison County Wildlife Management Area, south of Eureka Springs. The trail leading up to the Overlook is the Kings River Overlook Nature Trail, and it's a fairly easy one mile out and back hike, along a bluff overlooking the river. The Kings River is a popular river to float, but it's also a popular river to fish as it holds plenty of hefty smallmouth bass.

From the Kings River in Northwest Arkansas, to the king of rivers, Helena is the only downtown along the Mississippi river for the 300 miles between Memphis and Vicksburg. And at Helena's River Park an impressive boardwalk will lead you right up to the river's edge. Interpretive panels explain some of the local ecosystem and history of the area. If you are looking for more of an adventure, Buck Island is a short boat ride just up river from the boardwalk.

The island has almost 900 acres of native forest surrounded by white sandy beaches. With five miles of hiking trails, there are plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing, fishing and even camping. This is truly an excellent way to experience some of the river along the "mighty Mississip." In the Northern part of the state, another riverside town welcomes visitors in for a trip through the past.

In the upper portion of the Buffalo National River Region near Ponca is the Boxley Valley Historic District. Here you'll find historic structures dating between 1879 and 1930. The Walnut Grove church and school is probably the most photographed and iconic structure in Boxley Valley dating back to 1899. Boxley Valley is also popular with road cyclists.

The road that traverses the Valley runs along a portion of the 1200 mile loop, Arkansas High Country Bike Route, the Northern loop of which spans from Conway all the way to the Southern tip of Missouri. Rocky mountain elk are the other attraction in Boxley Valley. They were brought into the area by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission between 1981 and 1985. For those in search of a more sinister visit with nature, there's the wildlife paradise near Dermott, with the ominous name, Seven Devils Swamp. (frogs croaking) (tense music) How exactly Seven Devils Swamp got its name is not exactly known, but most of the tales about it involve someone getting lost. One such tale mentions a fur trapper who got lost back in here and afterwards called the seven lakes within the swamp "devils."

Not nearly as storied as the Boggy Creek swamps, Seven Devils Swamp is no less unsettling, a veritable, unnatural maze of Cypress and bottom land hardwood. The waters are said to take hold of the very soul of man and never let him go. Many areas of Seven Devils Swamp are still primeval in appearance, complete with water snakes and alligators. So have fun. Since it's very easy to get lost in the murky waters, a GPS or a compass is highly recommended.

Another swampy getaway, just west of Brinkley, in the Dagmar Wildlife Management Area is Bayou DeView. Some of the Cypress trees along Bayou DeView are reportedly over 850 years old. Bayou DeView and the rest of the Dagmar Wildlife Management Area are part of what is known as "The Big Woods" of Arkansas. A North to South corridor of bottom land hardwood forest in the Eastern part of the state. Arkansas is well known as an agri state, but not too many people are aware that Arkansas is also the oldest and largest grape juice and wine producing state in the South.

German and Swiss immigrants settled in the foothills of the Ozark mountains along the Arkansas River Valley during the 1870s at Altus. Area conditions, primarily the fertile, sandy soil and moderate climate reminded them of the fine wine making regions of Germany and Switzerland, and so they established vineyards, thus establishing viticulture in Arkansas. (bright string music) Today the wine country of the Arkansas River Valley continues to thrive with fields upon fields of fine vineyards, and they sell no wine before its time.

(gentle music) Just west of Little Rock, a towering peak comes to life as the sun rounds the corner. This is Pinnacle Mountain State Park. As Pinnacle wakes, so does Lake Maumelle and the long, rocky spine, known as the Rattlesnake Ridge Natural Area. The Ridge is part of an area set aside to protect rare plant and animal species, as well as the waters of Lake Maumelle down below, which is integral to Central Arkansas' water supply. Both Rattlesnake Ridge and Pinnacle Mountain provide miles of hiking and mountain biking trails offering the perfect chance to seize a summer day by hitting the trails in the wee morning hours, possibly after a cup or two of coffee.

(upbeat music) DeGray Lake Resort State Park is bustling with activity also, during the day and even into the night. Park interpreters take visitors out for sunset kayaking tours and meteor shower outings. - Here at DeGray Lake one of our primary resources, is of course, the lake, and one of the best ways to capitalize on that is by going on one of our paddling programs. We do meteor shower kayaking, and we actually take people out on a paddling tour, right as the sun is setting to a nice island, not too far. And we all just hang out there, lay back, watch the sky, see what it has to offer us, and then enjoy a nice paddle under the stars, right back to the park from where we came.

Definitely one of the best ways to experience the lake. And summer, of course is just pure fun. Anytime that you're on a lake in the summertime in Arkansas, you know it's gonna be a good time. - [Chuck] Pure fun is the order of the day during an Arkansas summer and never is that more apparent than with the countless fireworks extravaganzas all across the state.

(gentle music) (fireworks popping) It's what makes America what it is, and celebrating Independence Day in cities and towns, large and small, for the enjoyment of both young and old and in-between. Land of the free. Home of the brave. From cliff jumping into the waters of Greers Ferry to meteor showers on the beaches of DeGray Lake, from afternoon hikes past the vistas of Hickory Nut Mountain to visiting the historic Boxley Valley community. From the sweet wines of the vineyards near Altus, to the countless fireworks displays across the state, it's no wonder Arkansas was long known as "the land of opportunity." With such beauty and hospitality across the state, it seems there is never enough time to take in every opportunity our home has to offer even in the long dog days of summer. (wind blowing) (birds chirping) (upbeat guitar music) As summer eases into the shorter, cooler days of autumn, a unique transformation works its magic on the Arkansas landscape.

Our familiar home begins to glow with a host of warm, inviting colors. This spectrum of beauty is echoed by the variety of nostalgic traditions available to Arkansas explorers, eager to seek them out. Familiar landscapes, along with popular landmarks, iconic places and scenic byways begin to take on the vivid display of mother nature's colorful palette.

Early autumn in Arkansas means celebrating the last few days of summer warmth through tradition and competition. Come September, the warm summer winds still blow through the hills of Harrison, where a few daring Arkansans gather to enjoy the waning warmth of the Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship. (bright music) This truly is exploring Arkansas from above.

All weekend, balloonists take part in high flying challenges, such as a hare and hound race, where a single balloon is pursued by others. But the competition's main event is the key grab, where balloonists maneuver as close as possible to a 20 foot pole in order to grab a small key ring near the top. The daring pilot who captures the ring, floats home with 10 grand. Early autumn in Arkansas means celebrating the hard work of summer and preparing for the hard work of harvest across the state. And for many communities, that celebration means a county fair.

Reminiscent of summer's fireworks displays, county fairs light up the night sky with sights and sounds of rides, thrills and fun. But when the sun rises, the lights fade and the tents pull up stakes, it's back to work for farm families in Arkansas, but hard work and friendly fun aren't mutually exclusive. One farm making the best of their harvest time chores is the Peebles Family Farm in Augusta. Featuring a variety of activities such as a pick your own pumpkin patch and a 16 acre corn maze, the Peebles work hard to transform their home into a wonderful weekend getaway. Children of all ages spend warm Saturday afternoons getting lost in a living celebration of Arkansas' agricultural heritage.

Peebles Farm offers a truly fun and unique perspective on a lifestyle steeped in Arkansas history. (gentle music) Earlier, we introduced you to photographers who capture Arkansas' beauty and landscapes with a camera. Former Art Professor at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Henri Linton accomplishes his creative scenes from above with a paintbrush. - I never had the experience with flying, but after moving to Arkansas and just flying back and forth, it offered me a whole different perspective, what the world looked like from the sky.

And most of my painting is not about the weather. Its so much about the light and how abstract everything becomes. How do we judge space and move around in the world and relate to things that we see in the world? And I found that the Arkansas River and the lakes was very important to the lifestyle of people throughout the state of Arkansas.

The hills and mountains allowed me to see the world in a different way. I try to use nature as an inspiration and not necessarily just copy what I see. It's about light. It's about color and I incorporate all the fall colors. (gentle string music) - [Chuck] For artists like Linton, the natural beauty of Arkansas becomes a personal inspiration, an ever-revealing subject for his art to both mimic and complement. And what better time of the year than autumn for a master like Linton to use the widest part of his palette and capture the deep beauty of our home.

(upbeat music) Autumn in Arkansas is also getting away from it all to enjoy the peace and tranquility of days gone by at War Eagle Mill near Rogers. There's been a working gristmill at this site since 1832. After three were destroyed, this fourth mill was built in 1973.

The annual War Eagle fall Arts and Crafts Fair is held in mid-October. As the days grow shorter in the Ozark mountains, Autumn on War Eagle Creek is a true celebration of nature and culture and the unique marriage they find here. There is no better word for it, autumn leaves are truly a natural gift offered up for just a few weeks out of the year. Changes in daylight and temperature slow down the natural process known as photosynthesis by which plant leaves make food turning the green of summer into the vibrant colors of autumn, as the chlorophyll breaks down and the green disappears. Almost the entire 54 mile route of the Talimena National Scenic Byway goes through the Ouchita National Forest, including Queen Wilhelmina State Park, stretching all the way from Mena to Talihina Oklahoma, thus the name Talimena. The drive offers beautiful mountain vistas, unsurpassed in mid America, of forested peaks and valleys, lakes and streams.

Another national scenic byway and another must autumn drive, is the Pig Trail National Scenic Byway in Northwest Arkansas. The Pig Trail stretches along 19 miles or so of Highway 23 through the Ozark National Forest. More than just a passage through the Ozarks, the Pig Trail is a rite of passage for any true Razorback fan, as this byway was long used as the primary route for Hog fans headed to game day in Fayetteville. Once you reach your destination, Fayetteville offers no more breathtaking view than Old Main on the campus of the University of Arkansas with all its array of surrounding fall color. Completed in 1875, Old Main is the oldest building on the modern day campus and the only structure constructed in the 19th century.

In the rolling Ozarks it seams each hill and holler takes on a unique stunning display all its own. One of the more interesting displays are the architecture and grounds of Crystal Bridges Art Museum nestled quietly in the heart of Bentonville. Crystal Bridges was created to integrate into and reflect the natural beauty of its surrounding.

With a few quiet moments at Big Piney Creek near Clarksville, wild otters find time to enjoy the crisp cold waters of fall surrounded by vibrant color as they play. (upbeat music) (gentle music) An Arkansas autumn is also conquering a mountain just to say that you did it and to proudly proclaim, "yes, I have been to the mountaintop and have seen its glory." One of the state's most interesting mountains to conquer is Rattlesnake Ridge Natural Area, west of Little Rock near Pinnacle Mountain State Park.

Rattlesnake Ridge is the eastern most habitat of the Western Diamondback rattlesnake, though that shouldn't keep you off the trail. Most rattlers begin their inactive period once the cooler weather sets in. Autumn in Arkansas is taking a nostalgic trip along the bygone railways of America for the sole purpose of taking a trip to enjoy the countryside instead of just taking a trip to go from "point a" to "point b."

The Arkansas and Missouri Scenic Railroad is just that, providing an unforgettable scenic train trip through the colorful Ozarks between Springdale and Van Buren. It's a wonderful local experience whose mountain top views rival the train trips offered out West and even Alaska. Autumn in Arkansas is enjoying a colorful waterway the way early explorers experienced the Natural State, hundreds of years ago. To experience an Arkansas Autumn's full array of color undisturbed, there's no better strategy than kayaking the waters of Lake Winona just outside of Paron. Autumn in the Natural State soothes the soul and refreshes the spirit. It restores your inner being, clearing the mind of all clutter and overload.

The days shorten and the leaves change as Arkansans bask in the remains of nature's glorious warmth. And we take time to enjoy creation and all the healing it offers. (gentle string music) Arkansas' natural beauty continues to shine through into winter as the Natural State's colorful foliage falls away and the waterways slow to a creep, migratory animals from across the country, make a home in Arkansas for the winter months. None are more impressive than trumpeter swans, the largest water fowl in North America.

These swans have been calling Magness Lake, just east of Heber Springs, their home for almost 30 years and who could blame them? Normally found much farther west in states like Wyoming and Alaska, its believed that an unusual winter storm altered the swans' migration plans in the early nineties, and they've been wintering in North Central Arkansas ever since. (water splashing) Arkansas' trumpeter swans usually arrive around the first full moon in November and take flight around the first full moon in February, giving Arkansas birdwatchers, wildlife enthusiasts and other tourists three months to visit Magness Lake before their migration continues. (bright string music) The closing of the year and the coming of winter isn't all migration and hibernation. For many Arkansas communities winter and its holiday season is cause for celebration. And few things are more celebratory than the Trail of Holiday Lights.

Christmas in Arkansas bursts into a vast display of illumination and color. Fayetteville's Lights of the Ozarks brings a bright and festive air to its stately town square between Thanksgiving and New Years. The city's Parks and Recreation teams spend over 3000 hours each winter setting up the ever evolving display, culminating in a vibrant sea of almost a half a million twinkling points of light.

Meanwhile, in the Northeastern corner of the state, Batesville has earned the nickname, "Christmas Capital of Arkansas." With its white river wonderland, Batesville's light display spans the 35 acre Riverside Park, turning Arkansas' oldest town into a Christmas extravaganza. The Arkansas Trail of Holiday Lights is a breathtaking man-made spectacle celebrating the wonder and majesty of the holidays in the South. For many children and families across the state, these displays are one of a handful of traditions to finish the year with a celebration of warmth and togetherness.

(upbeat holiday music) Most years winter in Arkansas means drab, soggy days with rain and dull brown landscapes. But every few years old man winter arrives with a brutal reminder of his power, turning the entire state into a winter wonderland. (gentle holiday music) Eureka Springs is unique enough as it is, but after a snowfall, this place turns into a magical storybook setting. Eureka Springs during winter time is almost like being in the Swiss Alps without having to travel all the way to Switzerland. In fact, the town's nickname is, "Little Switzerland of the Ozarks." Under a fresh dusting of snow, the winding streets of Eureka Springs take on a European glow.

St. Elizabeth's Catholic church on Crescent drive adds to the European air of Eureka. (mysterious music) And a visit to Eureka wouldn't be complete without an overnight stay at the historic 1886 Crescent Hotel. The Crescent is most well-known for its long-term guests. Many believe most rooms in the hotel are home to spirits and specters earning the Crescent the title of "America's Most Haunted Hotel." No European vacation would be complete without a castle on the hill.

Overlooking Beaver Lake, the Castle Rogue's Manor Estate is the culmination of the work and worldwide travels of local creative genius Smith Treuer. Treuer spent years globe trotting and studying the art, history and Renaissance eccentricities of Europe before returning home to oversee the 14 year construction of Castle Rogue's Manor from 1993 to 2007. The result of this hard work is a hilltop spectacle that feels torn from the pages of a "Harry Potter" book. Even in the quiet introspection of winter, Eureka Springs stands out as a true high point of natural beauty and cultural significance in Arkansas.

(upbeat music) During our travels, we've come across countless high points around Arkansas, both figurative and physical. One of which is Mount Magazine, taking on a uniquely inspiring air during winter. At 2,753 feet Mount Magazine is the highest point in Arkansas.

So high in fact that the top of the mountain exists in its own climate, making it one of the first locations in the state to catch snowfall each winter. The flat top of the mountain usually stays about 10 degrees cooler than the wooded valley below, making it a wonderful spot to visit year round. But with icy conditions, few travelers witness the mountain and its surrounding valleys from the winter perspective, making it truly breathtaking. (gentle music) (water rushing) War Eagle Mill has been a bustling hub of activity in Rogers for almost two centuries. And when ice and snow takeover, and there's not a soul around, the freezing War Eagle Creek and the timeless mill take on a serene "Currier and Ives" setting. It stands today, a Testament of the strong power of nostalgia in the Natural State.

Another monument to the history of the Ozarks are the countless hills and valleys throughout the state. The old Ozark foothills take on a timeless, picturesque grandeur after winter weather. Little Sugar Loaf along the Little Red River near Heber Springs after a snowfall really does look like it's sugar coated. Little Sugar Loaf overlooks the freezing waters of the Little Red River, just outside of Heber Springs.

Little Sugar Loaf and its neighboring big brother, only a few miles away, truly live up to their namesake after a winter snowfall, adding a poetic air to their majestic beauty. After a rare, hefty snowfall in Little Rock, neighborhoods turn into a snow village and children's scamper out to enjoy the moment while it lasts. Seeking out the most astounding views like War Eagle Mill or Little Sugar Loaf mountain, we often risk missing the simple beauties lying just beyond our doorstep. There is no better example of this than Arkansas' capitol city with a fresh dusting of snow. Home to industry, government and well over a half million Arkansans, Little Rock normally hums with activity next to the slow flowing water of the Arkansas River. However, with winter weather, the busy city streets turned slippery and quiet making for perfect sledding conditions on a coveted snow day.

Seeing the Capitol city come reluctantly to rest, highlights the power of winter to give even the biggest of cities, a small town feel. (train whistling) (gentle music) Just west of Little Rock is Pinnacle Mountain. And after a snowfall, it too makes a transformation into what almost resembles Washington state's Mount Rainier. (car engines roaring) As quickly as the snow can pile up in Arkansas, once the temperatures get back up to normal, it all can quickly go away as well. And that's why there's usually only a brief period of time to enjoy the beauty of winter, especially in Central or South Arkansas. (water trickling) Depending upon the severity of a winter season and the length of time sub-zero temperatures manage to continuously take hold, there's an act of nature that occurs maybe once every 20 to 30 years in the Natural State and that's frozen waterfalls.

It's a rarely seen beauty, frozen in time. A crystallized wonder by mother nature. This particular frozen waterfall is Bridal Veil Falls in Heber Springs. Few will ever get the opportunity to see such a sight and even fewer from this perspective. The nature of nature is fortunately or unfortunately that all things change and soon these large masses of ice will disappear. But for this moment in time, we have a marvel to behold.

So we observe with gratitude because we don't know the next time winter will give us such a gift. (bright music) The opportunities for adventure and discovery in Arkansas seem too many to count. With each passing season, the beauty of the Natural State reveals itself more deeply to the explorer who would seek it out. Tracing these revelations throughout the year, our home seems to tell its own story. A story told time and again, but never the same twice. Each season, like a new chapter, revealing more and more about the character of the land and its people.

And like all great stories, this one always works its way back to the beginning. To the warm green fields of spring and the promise of life and the year to come. The orange reflection of sun on the lakes, the crimson leaves of the red Maples and back again to the white frost, blanketing our bluffs.

It is a story of change, of colors, of Arkansas. I have come to know our home story by heart, but I'm always eager to hear it again by further exploring Arkansas. (bright music continues) Viewers support provides the funding that pays for the programming on Arkansas PBS. Make your donation today to support exploring Arkansas Antiques Roadshow masterpiece and all your other PBS favorit Visit my Arkansas pbs.org to learn

more and thanks for watching.

2021-12-03 06:05

Show Video

Other news